Editor’s note: Chris Stedman is the author of "Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious" and the assistant humanist chaplain at Harvard. You can follow him on Twitter at @ChrisDStedman.
By Chris Stedman, Special to CNN
(CNN)—This year, Congress welcomed the first Buddhist senator and first Hindu elected to either chamber of Congress, and the Pew Forum noted that this “gradual increase in religious diversity … mirrors trends in the country as a whole.”
But Pew also noted one glaring deficiency: Religious “nones” were largely left outside the halls of Congress, despite one in five Americans now saying they don’t affiliate with a religion.
There is, however, one newly elected “none” — but she seems to think "atheist" is a dirty word.
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, was sworn in a few days ago without a Bible, and she is the first member of Congress to openly describe her religious affiliation as “none.” Although 10 other members don’t specify a religious affiliation — up from six members in the previous Congress — Sinema is the only to officially declare “none.”
This has gotten Sinema a fair amount of attention from the media. Many identified her as an atheist during her congressional campaign, and after she won, sources touted her as a nontheist. Even this past weekend, Politico declared in a headline: “Non-believers on rise in Congress.”
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But there’s a slight issue: Sinema doesn’t actually appears to be a nonbeliever. In response to news stories identifying her as an atheist, her campaign released this statement shortly after her victory: “(Rep. Sinema) believes the terms non-theist, atheist or non-believer are not befitting of her life’s work or personal character.”
As a nontheist, atheist and nonbeliever (take your pick), I find this statement deeply problematic.
It is perfectly fine, of course, if Sinema isn’t a nontheist, and it is understandable that she would want to clarify misinformation about her personal beliefs. But to say that these terms are “not befitting of her life’s work or personal character” is offensive because it implies there is something unbefitting about the lives and characters of atheists or nonbelievers.
Christmas exposes atheist divide on dealing with religion
Try substituting a religious group of your choice in place of atheist if you don’t agree: “[Rep. Sinema] believes the term Muslim is not befitting of her life’s work or personal character.” Does that sound right? It shouldn’t.
Of course, many do view Muslims as unfit for political office. In that respect, political opponents have regularly misidentified President Obama as a Muslim. Many have defended the president from such attacks by noting that Obama is a Christian.
But former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell rightly pointed out the pernicious underlying message such a defense sends:
The correct answer is: He is not a Muslim; he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, ‘What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?’ The answer is ‘No, that’s not America.’ Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?
Just as Muslim is used as a political smear, politicians seem to avoid "atheist."
This is probably because the American electorate views both Muslims and atheists more unfavorably than they do other groups: According to a Gallup poll released in June, only 58% of Americans would vote for a “generally well-qualified” Muslim candidate, and only 54% would vote for an atheist. (This is the first time that number has been above 50% for an atheist candidate.) By contrast, 91% would vote for a Jewish candidate, 94% for a Catholic and 80% for a Mormon.
There seems to be a greater general tolerance for, or blindness to, comments that marginalize or diminish atheists than those aimed at other groups.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
Prominent individuals like Powell rightfully decry anti-Muslim fear-mongering in politics, but few speak out against those who wield accusations of atheism as a political weapon.
Whether people don’t see it or simply aren’t bothered isn’t clear, but it remains a problem.
I respect Sinema’s right to self-identify as she chooses, and I don’t wish to speculate about her religious beliefs. But while I celebrate that she is comfortable enough to openly identify as bisexual, I find her response to being labeled an atheist troubling.
Why not instead say that she’s not an atheist, but so what if she was?
The 113th Congress is rich with diversity. As an interfaith activist, I am glad to see the religious composition of Congress more closely reflect the diversity of America. As a queer person, I’m glad that LGBT Americans are seeing greater representation in Washington.
But as a proud atheist and humanist, I’m disheartened that the only member of Congress who openly identifies as nonreligious has forcefully distanced herself from atheism in a way that puts down those of us who do not believe in God.
We are Americans of good character, too.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Chris Stedman.
Atheists seek to use reason and common sense as they see these rather than faith to support their assertion that there is no God. In order for them to prove that this position is the true one, though, they would need to demonstrate to the world in general and scientists in particular that they have not only identified but also have used every possible measurement means in existence and none of these has indicated the presence of God.
Since it is impossible for anyone in this life to identify or even know that they have used, let alone identified all possible measurement devices, then any statement made by an atheist about the non-existence of God is not a statement of science or even necessarily reason but a statement of faith. Thus atheists must operate like the rest of us on faith.
Atheism is not bad but it is sad. In their framework all those who have written beautiful music, written great books, expressed great thoughts, etc. will be extinguished at death. Those of us who enjoy these great works will also be extinguished by death. No one will be able to continue to progress or grow after death. Wonderful relationships formed in this life will be obliterated. Loved ones will never be seen again. A truly sad scenario.
Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D.
Why Phillip, so nice to hear from you. It's been a while since you were my graduate student at Liberty University. How's Ben doing?
It is sad. It's also sad that I can't fly like Superman. As a kid, I used to jump off of the picnic table in the back yard and try to imagine that I was flying, just a little bit. Then I grew up.
"Atheism is not bad but it is sad. In their framework all those who have written beautiful music, written great books, expressed great thoughts, etc. will be extinguished at death. Those of us who enjoy these great works will also be extinguished by death. No one will be able to continue to progress or grow after death. Wonderful relationships formed in this life will be obliterated. Loved ones will never be seen again. A truly sad scenario."
That's called reality. It's why atheists understand you're need to believe in your imaginary friend and a non-existent heaven so you can cope, but it still doesn't remove that reality.
This reality that you speak of, we'll have none of it.
"any statement made by an atheist about the non-existence of God is not a statement of science or even necessarily reason but a statement of faith."
A long detailed, and I would say helpful description of how scientific methodology cannot disprove god/s or other negatives. It will help people understand how that works. But it doesn't follow at all that "any" statement (really, even those including qualifying phrases like in my opinion?) would be a statement lacking reason. Go to any atheist blog and they are chalk full of reasoning as to how the authors have concluded (not guessed) that there are no god/s. I would think that anyone from Liberty University knows that most atheists reason out their conclusions because they spend a lot of time trying to counter those reasons.
While homegrown atheists are becoming more common, most were born into one religion or another, and reasoned their way out of it. Religious people on the other hand do seem to lack reasoning in their belief systems. Where I see reasoning take place with theists is through their personal experiences. I will give them credit for that being their reasoning even if I believe personal experience to be a very weak basis of evidence. If it is enough for them, at least they had a reason for their religious belief other than it being handed to them.
What kind of Ph.D won't properly define his terms? Doc, agnosticism is the position that one cannot completely disprove the existence of a deity by examination of the physical world, and atheism the position that sufficient proof DOES exist. Most 'atheists' are agnostics when you press them.
You realize, of course, that if we and all our thoughts are snuffed out at death, it is not going to be because too many atheists have opinions? I mourn my dead and cherish the living more fiercely than you noddies who wave bye-bye at coffins, expecting to see Grannie again. Life is harsh and real, and it is up to us to impose order on the chaos of life as best we can.
Awesome combination of Poe with over-accentuated false credentials written by someone who was lucky to graduate the 8th grade.
God doesn't debate with the race.
I don't know if god exists, but I know that his existence is irrelevant since there are no methods by which to see or measure him. If god wanted smart people to believe in him, he should have made his existence as obvious as gravity and electromagnetism and his will as discoverable as the principles of math or chemistry. Funny how all god believers agree on those things that they must agree upon. If explosives or peace efforts worked better by invoking the name of Jesus, the muslims and hindus would do it, too.
The burden of proof is on the one making a supernatural claim.
-Atheists seek to use reason and common sense as they see these rather than faith to support their assertion that there is no God. In order for them to prove that this position is the true one, though, they would need to demonstrate to the world in general and scientists in particular that they have not only identified but also have used every possible measurement means in existence and none of these has indicated the presence of God.
Thou shalt not lay the burden of proof on to him that is questioning the claim. Theists claim there is a deity, thus the burden lies with them.
-Since it is impossible for anyone in this life to identify or even know that they have used, let alone identified all possible measurement devices, then any statement made by an atheist about the non-existence of God is not a statement of science or even necessarily reason but a statement of faith. Thus atheists must operate like the rest of us on faith.
No. In this case, the absence of evidence is evidence of absence in the face of something that should so easily be observed. What deity hides from its intelligent creations but demands worship nonetheless with severe penalties for nonadherance to the faith?
-Atheism is not bad but it is sad. In their framework all those who have written beautiful music, written great books, expressed great thoughts, etc. will be extinguished at death. Those of us who enjoy these great works will also be extinguished by death. No one will be able to continue to progress or grow after death. Wonderful relationships formed in this life will be obliterated. Loved ones will never be seen again. A truly sad scenario.
Let me quote Metallica: Sad but True. Yet look at it in a more positive way. You are a one of a kind creature. Your unique genetic code qualifies you as the only you that will ever exist. Indeed, consider all of the other combinations of your code that could have come from your parents and think of all the trillions of other yous that could have come into existence but didn’t. They will never be born. Never experience even a short life measured against the deep time of the cosmos. Never forge those relationships, or hear that music of which you speak. Consider that you, I and everyone else of our species who has, is and will live are the fortunate ones compared to the seemingly infinite number of combinations of other people past, present and future who will never exist. We’re the fortunate ones. We get our cake and eat it too – just no seconds.
"Atheism is not bad but it is sad. In their framework all those who have written beautiful music, written great books, expressed great thoughts, etc. will be extinguished at death. Those of us who enjoy these great works will also be extinguished by death. No one will be able to continue to progress or grow after death. Wonderful relationships formed in this life will be obliterated. Loved ones will never be seen again. A truly sad scenario."
This is why I as an Atheist cherish every day of my life. This is why I do not smoke, I exercise, I eat right I take care of my self BECAUSE THIS LIFE is the ONLY life.
it is only 'sad' if you waist THIS life, which believers do everyday because they live for the after-life.
hee hee I mean 'waste'
Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D. is attempting to employ argumentum ad ignorantiam.
no one – including atheists, need to prove gods do not exist. the onus of evidence remains wholly and entirely on the shoulders of those making the positive, additive assertion that gods do exist.
there is no theory of theology. theology is predicate on ignorance, not facts or knowledge. people who believe in an imaginary man in the sky base this belief on faulty erroneous data. it is the theist who must rely on faith, because there's no substantiated, verifiable, empirical evidence of your imaginary man in the sky, in fact, there is even contradictory evidence.
your assertion is laughable and dismissed.
"no one – including atheists, need to prove gods do not exist. the onus of evidence remains wholly and entirely on the shoulders of those making the positive, additive assertion that gods do exist."
Should atheist feel the need to prove the counter though? That the concept of God was created by a man? I mean it's obvious that an atheist (or anyone) cannot prove a negative but they could prove what they believe in..that the Judeo-christian God was created by man and that it can be proven under the same scientific microscope that atheists expect belivers to adhere to.
The proof that men made up the bible and all gods is all around, in the histories of cultures around the world, and all back through history. Men have created gods to explain that which they could not understand.
A recent example was an island in the south pacific. There was an isolated island where a WWII jeep was accidentally dropped onto this island. Years later, contact was made with the inhabitants. They had been worshipping the jeep as a god, because they could not comprehend that men made this alien object.
atheists can ignore the Word of God all they want but soon theyll have to explain themselves and all the things they were supposed to pay attention to in His Word when they meet Him at the time reckoning which will be sooner than you thought it was!
Christians should pay attention to those words too. "If someone sues you for your Nativity Scene, give them your Christmas tree also." Or something like that. If the Bible is true, a LOT of "Christians" are in for a jolt.
" and all the things they were supposed to pay attention to in His Word "
Based on the American economy, the greed, the gluttony, the millions that walk by the homeless not helping them don't seem to be paying attention to his word either. That means so many Christians will be going to hell, I bet you'll be one of them.
nope is a dope
"atheists can ignore the Word of God all they want" Thanks, we do. Are you God's favorite little slasher, then? Going to cut us if we don't pretend to like your cult? You are a credit to the Prince of Peace.
How ya figure?
Sorry, dude. The "Christians" who wear designer clothes to church and drive SUVs aren't getting into heaven either, unless Jesus was lying about the camel going through the eye of a needle thing. And that goes for all the Christians who follow that prosperity nonsense. Christianity isn't about getting rich. Jesus wouldn't have carried a gun, either.
I'm don't believe in the christian god because I did pay attention to what was written in the bible, coupled with the lack of evidence to support the blind assertions of "god exists nyah nyah" that seems to be quite popular among the theists.
So, not only do you believe in a supernatural being, you think that bible verses are persuasive to atheists. Your grip on reality isn't very firm, is it?
I wonder if its the lower criminality or perhaps the higher intelligence that she doesn't want to be associated with.
The author should have done more homework on Ms. Sinema. She has a bit of a quick temper and speaks her mind with little filtering. That can be refreshing, but can also lead to statements that are not perfectly worded. Having no religion is not atheism, this seems like a pet peeve of hers. Why didn't he ask her to clarify rather than create whole piece of mostly speculation.
Did you even read the article? Her office released a statement. You can't get anymore filtered than that. Statements are not released off the cuff. It is upon her to clarify if she feels a need. Speculation will occur unless she does. And the author only said she appeared not to be any of the three descriptions including no-religion. Personally, I think it behooves her to clarify just to put the speculation to rest, but what's clear is that she doesn't want to be associated with any identifiers that would make people think she's not religious and that it's because she thinks either that's bad or people will perceive it as bad. Author was spot on.
She is under no obligation to clarify her beliefs to anyone just because they ask.
It also has nothing to do with representing her consti tuents.
Akira, not clarification of her beliefs, clarification of the statement that atheism is ot befitting of her character.
Amii, I've seen many poorly worded PRs.
Well sure you have, but none are off the cuff. I imagine most are manufactured around a board table.
I'm going to take a guess and say she's a deist? Technically still religious according to the dictionary, but obviously no god-centered rules, rituals, etc.
I'm going to guess she just doesn't want to be labeled with a term that says nothing about her values.
""I'm going to guess she just doesn't want to be labeled with a term that says nothing about her values.""
Depending on the term, it might say a lot about her values. Evangelical Xtian tells me that their greatest task in life is to spread God's Word. Fundementalis Xtian tells me they believe God's Word is right even when it's shown empirically to be wrong and we should run our nation by it like Robert's Rules of Order. Atheist tells me someone has stuck to the default position that we are all born into, or, they deconverted most likely after critically thinking their way out of their prior religious indoctrination.
Self labelling actually tells me alot...
@KneonKnight, I didn't say she didn't wanted to label herself, I said, as you quoted "I'm going to guess she just doesn't want to be labeled with a term that says nothing about her values." All atheism states is your position on the existence or non-existence of gods. She may as well be calling herself an adharmaist or aunicornist or whatever. It doesn't say anything at all about what she does believe in or what her ethical values are. Certainly labels are useful, but in the context of predicting the decisions of a politician "atheist" is not very useful, because it doesn't carry with it as much information as something like "Christian" does. She would be much better off being known as a humanist of utilitarian or, if this is confusing to people, simply as "none" as she has chosen.
@Saraswati – Atheist is a label that tells plenty actually. You're being naive or something. To one faction, the one I believe she is trying to appease, the atheist lable means amoral, angry and afraid (those are the three big derogatories anyway...Sad is another, see Dr Smith's comment above). To another, smaller faction who pay attention to statistics, it means intelligent, law abiding and thoughtful. Sure, there may be a large contingent who think it means no god/s without any other conotations, but I would be shocked to find it larger than the negative conotations crowd.
to suggest that @Saraswati is naive indicates you've not read many of her posts.
1. We have no business knowing what Rep. Sinema's beliefs are. "No religious test" etc. She can rightfully insist on not being labelled.
2. Rep. Sinema does not need to be the congressional standard bearer for non-believers – her primary job is to represent the legislative needs of her const!tuents in Arizona.
Atheist really does only mean 'a disbelief in God'. But yes, it is a dirty word, with all the unnecessary and inaccurate conotations (created by believers with a persecution complex) that you have enumerated. With all that baggage, why would someone in the political sphere want to take that label on? It's not appeasement, its pragmatic politics.
@ I’m not a GOPer
I’ve read exactly two of Saraswati’s posts, right above, but I don’t think Saraswati is naïve either…I think Saraswati is something. Strictly opinion, of course.
1. Never said she was. I even stated, and will quote here, “It is upon her to clarify if she feels a need.” Note, that “if she feels the need” part. It’s true this quote was in another line of conversation, but you appear to think that one must be up on all of a person’s quotes, so get up to speed already.
2. I never said she did, never implied it in any way. Show me where I said she had to do that. Go on, find it. You won’t. Stop attributing to me things I’ve never said or implied.
I’m well aware of the definitions of atheism. I’m also not so naïve or something as to think it won’t make a difference as you speculate yourself. I’ll answer your last question with a question and answer: Do I expect too much from politicians? Yes, always have; always will.
What world does the author live in? In the U.S.A., there are few dirtier words than "atheist". It should not be that way, but it is. Don't scold the congresswoman for not being stupid.
A world where atheists are no longer willing to hide in the dark, clearly.
Atheism is a religion in the same way that being healthy is a disease.
Damn. Ever since I got over the flu I've had a disease. Maybe I should get the flu again.
"Zec 5:2-4 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof [is] twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.Then said he unto me, This [is] the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off [as] on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off [as] on that side according to it. I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof."
Deuteronomy 22: 28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and ràpes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
Behold, the holy words of your god!
"Deu 22:28-29 If a man find a damsel [that is] a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty [shekels] of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days." shotgun wedding
And no doubt the r.apist will b!tch about having to marry a woman who wasn't a virgin.
Shotgun wedding....no, being forced to marry your r.apist. Pure and simple.
No amount of apologetics is going to change that.
No amount of differing translations is going to change that.
Next, you will be arguing that being forced to marry your r.apist is somehow "protecting her honor".
Disingenous and dishonest.
I stand by my post. BTW Aki, did your pal Gandhi ever visit the USA? Was he arrested?
The practice is still done in Morocco. Recently there was a 16 year old girl who was forced to marry her rapist, who then beat her nearly every day. She committed suicide to escape this. Her family made sure she married him so as not to shame the family.
What's with all this r ape talk? Unca suga's laws?
Wonk is stuck on this verse......"Primewonk
The verses in question say, "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and ràpes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."
Are claiming the holy bible does not say this? Since your god, in his bible says the bible is god-breathed, and your god is omnipotent, then this verse must say what god wants it to say. Otherwise, your bible is not god-breathed, and your god is not omnipotent. And if he isn't omnipotent, why worship him?
May 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm
Primewonk, Lol, Akria
Deuteronomy was written by Moses in 1405 BC shortly before he was going to die and pass the reins over to Joshua in the conquered land. You pluck out a verse and make sport of it thinking there is no consequence for your mocking God and believers. This is why we pray for atheists and others that pen their hope on the deception that there is no God.
Observing the pattern of atheists to pluck and twist facts (as you just did) I can better understand how you managed to delude yourselves into extrapolating biologic evolution (fact) into a world view to justify the purpose of man in the absence of God. This naturalism is a belief founded on Pre-Socratic philosophy that eventually led the Greeks into pederasty. It is simply very natural you see. Today we see the trend continuing where all sorts of behaviors considered perversion and abnormal a few years ago are now redefined as normal on the basis of naturalism.
You applaud your belief and mock God without any awareness of how far you have drifted from what was good and right. In the absence of God you are deluded that the likes of Greeks and the evil that lurks behind the powers of this world will for some reason show you great benevolence. That conclusion goes against the foundation of your naturalism. Your belief must be false in order for you to take comfort in it.
Just want to add that Moses was a prolific designer of genocide, eradicating tribe after tribe after tribe down to the last man, woman and child in his delusional mindset that god told him to make a homeland for the people he lead. Using Moses as a masthead to separate those from the wicked is laughable at best.
"Observing the pattern of atheists to pluck and twist facts (as you just did) "
So do Christians and you've done it yourself.
"Today we see the trend continuing where all sorts of behaviors considered perversion and abnormal a few years ago are now redefined as normal on the basis of naturalism."
Yeah, like abolishing slavery and African Americans being able to marry other races. Oh....that's right you're using your prejudice versions of what you think is normal.
"You applaud your belief and mock God without any awareness of how far you have drifted from what was good and right."
Another lie from the xtians – 11!
Pete, while you were so focused and obsessed with your hatred of Christians you neglected to control the Public Servants and let them rob everybody blind. Where's my 10 cent cup of coffee? You don't mind them moving the field markers, errr benchmarks, over night?
"while you were so focused and obsessed with your hatred of Christians"
Another lie from the xtians – 12!
Don't tease us by telling us that the Deuteronomy quote is plucked and twisted and then not enlighten us. How will we ever learn unless you actually tell us the proper unplucked and untwisted reading of Deuteronomy 22? I'm sure I'm not the only one who is anxious to hear it.
“Yeah, like abolishing slavery and African Americans being able to marry other races. Oh....that's right you're using your prejudice versions of what you think is normal.”
=>Yes, it was Christians the put an end to the African Slave Trade and it was Christians that put an end to discrimination against interracial marriage. You are confused because some corrupt people claimed the Bible said blacks and whites cannot marry and some corrupt people participated in Slave trade. Christ said all are equal before God and love others. Sick to the truth not the spin.
Hitler claimed to be a Christian yet everything he did went against the teachings of Christ. If I claimed to be an atheist yet went to church every Sunday, prayed earnestly and did what Christ said was right would you still hate me?
"You applaud your belief and mock God without any awareness of how far you have drifted from what was good and right."…..You said: Another lie from the xtians – 11!
=>"You" was directed at Pimewonk and Akira however it can be applied in general. Prime wonk and Akria were mocking God and both are filled with naturalism to the extent they believe anything goes in the shadows of the jungle between animals so long as no animals are hurt in the process with the exception that predators can rava-ge as they will because that is their nature.
""You applaud your belief and mock God without any awareness of how far you have drifted from what was good and right."…..You said: Another lie from the xtians – 11!
=>"You" was directed at Pimewonk and Akira however it can be applied in general."
You can try to spin it any way you want dude but you're still lying. – 13!
Oh, and it was Christians that still enslaved African Americans. Again, you're spinning things so you can feel good about your religion, but your religion has done some terrible things in human history. Just because you believe in your God, doesn't automatically make you a good and moral person.
=>Yes, it was Christians the put an end to the African Slave Trade and it was Christians that put an end to discrimination against interracial marriage.
The truth, sir, is that the Southern Christians used Christianity to validate that slavery was good in God's eyes.As it certainly is as recorded in the Bible. I suggest you read it because God, and Jesus, are very pro-slavery. It was a combination of freed slaves, Christian-based missions, and secular abolitionist societies that originally established the underground railroad and eventually, brought about convincing Lincoln to end slavery vis a vis the Civil War.
Isaac Asimov – "Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."
Deuteronomy 22 records various rules laws and remedies and is part of the summary of laws Moses recorded before passing the leadership position to Joshua. Moses was the final judge in the camps of the Hebrew and memorialized these in Deuteronomy. The purpose was that they remember those laws that separate them from the wicked peoples all around them. This is why it includes what to do with a birds nest and fallen ox as well as why men should not wear a women’s clothing etc.
They were a chosen people so instead of walking past a fallen ox they would help the animal and the owner. Instead of eating the eggs, the mother or destroying the nest they did the right thing. This is in stark contrast to the wickedness around them. People of God do not act like the world around them. Rules are followed and there are consequences now and on future generations if lawlessness is allowed.
As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.
If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.
Such great morals to live by, NOT! LOL!
No, low, I can't say that I have ever had the pleasure of meet Gandhi, as he died many years ago; perhaps the same dementia that makes you think r.ape is a perfectly acceptable form of courtship has made you also think he is still alive.
And you can try to suga coat it all you want, Deuteronomy is talking about r.ape.
The African Slave Trade is very different from what was referred to in the time of Jesus. In the time of Jesus slaves were bond servants. The African Slave Trade was based on kidnapping humans and putting them into slavery. This practice was forbidden since the time of Exodus for believers (Jew and Christian)
The Southern Christians got it wrong and used the Bible to justify their wrong doings. Granted few people could read so they were at the mercy of the preachers. Westboro Baptist Church is a good example of the Bible run wild.
Thanks. So, paying a fine and marrying your rapist sets them apart from the wicked people around them. Woo doggies, those were some wicked people around them if that's the standard that sets you apart. So, what did the wicked peoples all around them do when someone was caught raping a virgin? Give him a medal?
Here's some great OT Xtianity for the believers on this thread. Cherry pick you way out of this.
" In the time of Jesus slaves were bond servants. The African Slave Trade was based on kidnapping humans and putting them into slavery. This practice was forbidden since the time of Exodus for believers (Jew and Christian)"
That's not true. Paul apparently saw no evil in the concept of one person owning another as a piece of property. In his Letter to Philemon, he had every opportunity to discuss the immorality of slave-owning, but declined to do so.
" Give him a medal?"
They made them pay the father 50 pieces and forced the woman to marry the rapist.
Fred, how is my saying that I think it is wrong to support r.ape and reward the r.apist in any way shape or form "mocking?"
If you support r.ape, fine, but when one doesn't, it's not mocking: it's staking a stance against r.ape, no matter who wrote it.
JW's, the NIV, and flypaper do have a use!
“Deuteronomy 22:28-29 If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.”
=>the Bible also has a nice graphic history for you about what the brothers actually did to anyone that would ra-pe their sister. Get real this verse is one of many that says there are serious consequences for sin.
This verse may have been given by Moses to allow an out so that a boy friend and daughter’s life would be saved from certain death. Your daughter was just caught doing the nasty and this saved her physically and restored her status.
Yes Bob this verse is a blessing not a curse.
“Such great morals to live by, NOT! LOL!”
=>This deals with bad behavior and says it is wrong. To suggest it winks at ra-pe is far from the truth.
"=>This deals with bad behavior and says it is wrong. To suggest it winks at ra-pe is far from the truth."
Fred you are one dense moron. The one thing you forgot in all that crap was what about the woman? Oh, that's right you missed that part completely, it's not mentally healthy for a woman to marry her rapist.
Ok folks wait for it Fred's going to sit and spin for us again.
See my reply to Bob. This was not a reward. A woman who was not a virgin was as good as dead. Do you really think the rapist would be allowed to live being caught red handed?
Re: Slavery after the Old Testament
Have you read the 4 gospels and actually thought about what Christ allegedly said regarding slaves? Have you read the Epistle of Philemon? Can you explain away Paul's admonishment to him and not come away that he is still pro-slavery, just a kinder gentler state of human ownership by other humans?
I find no histriocity on Christ believable, but Paul has secular references to him, and since his letters are an integral part of the NT, how can you not recognize that his God remained slavery-positive even after his son's/himself's death and/or resurrection, and trinity and, er... whatever. Obviously the Xtain deity has no problem with humans being the property of other humans. It's irrefutable.
I really do not see the need for Paul to write about it as the law was clear. Paul went by the letter of the Law of the prophets and added to that the teachings of Christ. He would not have overlooked a violation but that does not mean he needed to address the church about it.
So why didn't god say that women who are raped are still pure in his eyes because they were violated against their will? Why not state that they are still worth as much monetarily (since that's really the only thing that's mentioned and cared about when it came to women at the time)? Forcing someone who has gone through rape to be with that person for the rest of their lives is fucking moronic.
"This verse may have been given by Moses to allow an out..."
Or it may not. Who knows? One of my chief issues with the Bible is the lack of a FAQ. Seems like a pretty big oversight. On the other hand, maybe the Bible is a test, a test to see if you have a moral compass of your own or if you will just do anything that God tells you, however offensive. In that light it makes sense that it would contain some good stuff, and some really awful stuff. God is testing you, to see if you will agree with the awful stuff.
Or it could have just been written by Iron age people doing their best to learn how to be civilized, a process that is ongoing.
" In the absence of God you are deluded that the likes of Greeks and the evil that lurks behind the powers of this world will for some reason show you great benevolence. "
Did you run away from a mental home or something? Atheists don't worship stuff at all, and especially not evil Greek powers. Put down the comic books and go take a walk until you feel better.
We do not know why Moses elected to include this verse when he was summarizing the laws and rulings he made as judge. As judge for years he made a ton of rulings. I lean towards the speculation that he was saving some misguided teens. The conclusion that God endorses r.ape or suggesting the Hebrew were immoral because of this rule is unfounded as well.
Sorry to have suggested you were mocking if you were not.
Christ made it clear that religion and priests of his day corrupt the truth of God. When Jesus blasted them he was speaking of past, present and future failures of priests and their religions. Specific to your reply Christ stopped the stoning and said to the women caught in adultery “neither do I condemn you now go and sin no more.” “Woe to you priests and Pharisees that burden the people with laws they themselves cannot carry”.
To the women who was not allowed in the temple and could not be touched because of her condition ostracized by the community he called her daughter (a very endearing term). Jesus restored her.
Now, specifically to your questions:
“So why didn't god say that women who are ra-ped are still pure in his eyes”
=>Jesus embraced all which includes the worst offenders, expressed his love then offered peace and blessings. Jesus was the full radiance of God so God actually offered women more than they could ever imagine.
Caution, Jesus also said no one is pure in God’s eyes for all have sinned and fallen short. We are only pure in Christ never outside of Christ.
“ Why not state that they are still worth as much monetarily “
=>Christ gave his life in exchange for any and all that would accept his sacrifice. I would say that is one big statement of worth.
"Christ made it clear that religion and priests of his day corrupt the truth of God."
Yup and what those priests wrote the Bible.
I'm sorry, "lol??" and "fred", but "Christ", "God", "LORD", "Moses" and "Joshua" are all elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated assertions may represent truths is: "CHRONIC EPIC FAIL".
I'll make it more plain. Wonk is messin' with your minds with the NIV.
One of the reasons I believe is because the Bible accomplishes its purpose 3,400 years after it was written. From talking serpents to the resurrection the reader’s true heart (soul) is revealed by the Word of God.
True or false it has the power to change lives to this very day. Wars have and will be fought over the interpretation (right or wrong interpretation) as well as individual lives set free or put in bondage.
From beginning to the end the Bible shows two types of souls. One like Able and one like Cain, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau………etc. right down to the two criminals hanging next to Jesus (Luke 23:39-44) one mocked the other simply said remember me when you get to paradise. All made a decision about the veracity of the Bible.
No, none of their nonsense is in the Bible.
Hal had a known creator therefore you are defective and will self destruct
"Hal had a known creator therefore you are defective and will self destruct"
another lie from the xtians – 20!
Are you saying your world view is not that of naturalism? Last I heard it was in which case your only hope is that observed path of naturalism will suddenly change so that you are not a former species.
And once again, like a fucking coward, you completely avoid the entire subject and merely blather on like a fucking moron about irrelevant bullshit.
Stephen Hawking: 'There is no heaven' – Under God – The ...
by Elizabeth Tenety – in 624 Google+ circles – More by Elizabeth Tenety
May 16, 2011 – There is no heaven... that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark,” Hawking told the Guardian.
The need for an observer at the origin of the universe is no different from the need for an observer in everyday reality... which mostly goes unobserved. Even if you accept the Copenhagen interpretation as valid, reality would still be established at the time that sentient beings evolve (or their probabilities emerge) – it would be (under that interpretation) no different than any other unobserved element of reality that goes on every day (meaning most features of the universe). If you both accept this interpretation AND have a personal problem living in a world that is largely only probabilistically defined, then sure, you need a god. But at that point the whole theory is irrelevant since it's all observed.
I don't know whether there are conscious enti’ties that can observe more than humans, but I see no evidence that they are essential. Cool and potentially fun, sure, but not necessary.
“(Rep. Sinema) believes the terms non-theist, atheist or non-believer are not befitting of her life’s work or personal character.”
Just imagine such a slap-in-the-face to ANY other group, in terms of their religious views.
What IF she had said: "Calling me a Hindu (or Jew or Muslim or Catholic or Protestant) would not be in keeping with the great things that I have done in my life's work"??
She doesn't like to be labeled.
Really Aki? How 'bout the LGBTJFKLBJHRC crowd? They are always h0m0se xual first and whatever second.
Yes, really, low.
And what about them?
Don't you label yourself Christian first and Vegas Pole Dancer Extrodinaire second?
that made me laugh Akira
Why on earth would someone want to be labeled based on what they don't believe in? Should she say she's an a-unicornist too? Most people, if they do want a lable (which does help out others) want a label that sums up a significant part of who they are, not just names one of the 10,000 things they don't believe in.
Seriously lol? I'm a lesbian and I'd say it comes up about 103rd on the list of things I mention about myself.
your argument is exactly the one posed by the author of the article.
The author is out of bounds in this article. Rep. Sinema is not required to conform to any religious test for holding office. She is not required to be the congressional standard bearer for non-believers. She is allowed to believe or not believe anything she wants to.
Not to mention that it's one thing to label yourself, and another for others to label you...which is the point on my initial post, and the point the good Congresswoman was trying to make...she was trying to merely defend herself from the labels people had already given her.
Saraswati, I agree.
I don't walk up to people I meet and say, "hi, I'm hetero." It's usually, "hi, I'm Akira."
Somebody is too interested in other's private lives; seems to be an unhealthy interest, if you ask me, (which you didn't.)
@Akira, I have to wonder if people who think like lol?? believe they've only ever met one gay person, and it was the guy they passed on the street 10 years ago wearing a a big "I'm Gay!" T-shirt. It's really very odd.
I'd hate for people to think that any of the good I've done has been out of fear of punishment or to curry favor with a spirit. 'Not as a bridge from Earth to Heaven, not as a witness to any creed, but simple service simply given to one's own kind in their common need.' That's as close to a motto as I get.
So Clown, you do "good" to impress people? You in big trouble boy.
@"I'm not a GOPer"
I'm not saying that she needs to label herself with any religious or non-religious label.
She is free to say that she is an atheist (or Hindu, or Mormon, or Baptist, etc.) and she is also free to say she is NOT (any of those, etc.) and she is free to say "No comment" (or "I'd rather not label my religious beliefs").
But, when she rejects a label in a way that insults a group, it's reasonable for them to call her out on it (i.e., pointing out the insult inherent in how she phrased it).
"So Clown, you do "good" to impress people?" Read again. Just the opposite. I do it because it needs doing, not to get people on my 'side' or because I'm afraid of devils.
Bible Clown© sayz,
I'd hate for people to think................"
Right Clown, why can't you see the problems "do-gooders " cause? Cut up another virgin for sacrifice. Keep the earth spinning.
One of atheism's prime directives, is to love thy doggie as thyself. When he dies don't eat it, but bury it with a cross for a marker.
Some Atheists have found that loving thier doggie is nonconsentual.
I'm curious, JPT. As a youngster, at what point did you throw up your hands and declare "heck, I don't need a basic education"?
I completed my MSEE in the CSU system in 1987 and then read Einstein's book, "The Meaning of relativity." Even you could understand the Schrodinger's Cat books.
OK, well thank you, Mr. Engineer, for taking the trouble to write something more understandable than the garbage immediately above. Now it seems your attention is requested below, where it appears you are dodging the request for supporting evidence of your claims.
Great, just what we need, another condescending engineer who thinks he is an expert in physics.
And some Tarvers think fvcking their dog is consensual, inasmuch as they love them.
since when does atheism have a prime directive?
Oh, ignore lol?? She went to the Don Rickles School Of Evangelism.
LOL?? = troll = ignore
"One of atheism's prime directives, is to love thy doggie as thyself."
Here's a clear statement of why I disdain religion. In the name of God and in defense of the Bible, this man is calling non-Christians Dog-fuggers.
Clown, I didn't tell you to go blank yersef. But putting a cross over a dead dog is calling God a dog. Get it now?
My dog is greater than your god.
I call BS. Eisnstein said no such thing. Prove me wrong by citing a source.
Cheeze- I am not your research assistant and unles you have a Purchase Order, I suggest you do your own research. The Copenhagen Observations are also where the notional hypothesis of Multi-Universe comes from, based in the idea that probabilities are deterministic.
Oh I understand John, and I already checked for the quote as you wrote it and it does not appear anywhere, so either you are misquoting it at least partially or you are completely full of sh1t. Until you cite a source for that quote you are just another Liar for Jesus.
The quote does apear in "In Search of Schrodinger's Kittens", as Schrodinger's Cat stories were an attempt to disprove MU. The Copenhagen Observations were once taught in College physics classes, but one day John Bell proved that probabilities are not determonistic leaving only the proof of God.
John Bell also smoked heroin when doing his experiments. No chance he talked to the ghost in the sky there, right?
Translation of JPT: (I can't remember or I made it up.)
That's not a source John, you said It is a quote from Einstein's Copenhagen Observations of 1927. This would be a popular quote from Einstein for christians to use. It should be simple to find but I can't find it. I think you are lying John.
Cheeze- I gave you a reference. If you want to understand then read the book. Wiki had nonsense about time-space in their definition of Relativity, until i corrected them, so don't expect a nice sound bite like that Relativity denier Hawkings provides. Relativity has always beeen a contraversial fact and Einstein was forced to create the Photon to collect his Nobel prize; used to pay off a divorce settlement.
I think he's lying as well, Cheese. Put up or shut up, Tarver.
You said the quote was from Einstein's Copenhagen Observations of 1927. Now you say it is from a book written by someone else. I was right, you are a liar.
"Wiki had nonsense about time-space in their definition of Relativity, until i corrected them,"
CRAZY PERSON ALERT!! Back away slowly. Don't make eye contact.
"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
I think the Congesswoman should have said, "none of your business" and left it at that. That would be a proper application of Seperation of Church and State.
Too many Christians have to stick their nose into business that isn't theirs.
The United States Governmnet has no business even asking this question.
The gov't isn't asking the question,
indeed so. It's time we stopped the ubiquitous cultural obsession with candidate's religious views altogether.
It violates the Const!tution.
I wish all public declarations of candidates' faith was an off limits topic.
@tarver: LOVE: please explain what is "love"? seeing we atheists lack "love" please tell us what it feels like?
could it be forgiving your child's mother for her mistakes and accepting a child that isn't your own love?
how about not thinking twice to place your body inbetween your wife and children protecting them from shots you just heard?
HOPE: what is this hope you speek of? how do we simple atheists aquire it? is hope the thing i feel every time i see the light of imagination in a child's eyes? hope how about when people forgive and work together for the benefit of their offspring; is that hope?
FAITH: shouldn't ever be accepted. there is no proof in faith, only myth and illusion, aka smoke and mirrors.
any solid evidence leading to a logical conclusion is far more reliable than faith.
"What is Love?", that age old question of the spiritually impoverished.
"What is Love?"
"Baby don't hurt me"
"Don't hurt me"
@tarver: here i will explain LOVE in a few ways.
LOVE ( in evolutionary terms) – culmination of basic animal instincts in a higher developed mind, thus causing over lapping instincts to create more complicated nueroligical responces.
LOVE ( in terms of making a marriage last) COMMUNICATION
if you require defintions of any other simple things about life tarver just ask. :)
Not speaking from any religious viewpoint, I'm not sure I agree with the way this author takes the Representative's statement. To say that these terms are not befitting of her work or character means that they aren't the appropriate term, and she has chosen not to reveal what would be the appropriate term in her eyes. She is the only one who could define that for the rest of the public, and her statement applies only to herself. Why then should her use of the word "befitting" imply that anyone who does fit the descriptions of those terms be less of a person or less worthy of respect?
What's with the gubmint god always wanting to know your race and how many bathrooms you have? Somebody ought to tell these PUblic Servants about Noe. The world is one big bathroom for an atheist.
Where Genesis says the earth was void and without form, this indicates that there was no physical reality prior to God thinking the Logos. Black box radiation demonstrats the concept of a vacuum fluctuation and only Relativity deniers believe in the big bang. There was nothing and then there was a universe; at the end of time there will be nothing again.
Another lying Christian – 8
Relativity is Maxwell's Equations with Time taken independant of Space into a 4th dimension, eliminating the scientific basis for the big bang over a century ago. The Relativity denier Hawkings is as big a retard as he apears to be.
That's malarkey, John. Try again.
"Where Genesis says the earth was void and without form, this indicates that there was no physical reality"
And when Tolkien says "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit," that is absolute proof of the existence of Middle-Earth? Come on, anyone can write a book and many have.
Jesus Christ is the spell of creation and God is a sentint being outside the universe. There was nothing physical before the Logos and nothing is where this vacuum fluctuation shall return.
"God is a sentint being outside the universe"
How do you know this and what does 'outside the universe' mean?
@tarver: please explain how everything can go back to "NOTHING" when there has always been something here?
let's not forget there will always be things here. it's energy my friend, everything in this universe is comprised of energy whether in a solid form of matter or in it's true form as various energy patterns.
let's also not forget "energy can not be created nor destroyed"
thus the same amount of energy that was in this universe is the same amount we will find IF this universe was to ever "truly end."
Relativity and Quantum Mechanics require a sentient being outside the universe to make the universe real.
Does this mean this being does not obey the laws of relativity or QM?
It means that this sentient being made Relativity and QM.
@tarver: please explain what FACTS you have that privy you to know EXACTLY where "god" is?
you could change the world with information as astounding as that.
please share..............................or is it that whole "TAKE IT ON FAITH" thing?
take it on FAITH that if you waste your life here on your knees you will be rewarded when you are NO LONGER HERE.
yeah that makes a lot of logical sense..................well appearantly it makes sense to the 9/11 guys also.
"Relativity and Quantum Mechanics require a sentient being outside the universe to make the universe real."
That is quite the "truth" statement John,
Prove it.... or you are full of sh1t.
Cheeze- It is a quote from Einstein's Copenhagen Observations of 1927 and unless you have some additional qualifications in science you have not demonstrated here, it is quite impossible to even explain QM and Relativity to you, so a proof would not be useful to you.
I call BS.... Eisnstein said no such thing. Prove me wrong by citing a source.
January 9, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
More religious fantasy poorly camouflaged with scientific sounding terms
JP Tarver, Einstein said no such thing in Copenhagen in 1927 as your supposed quote. That was also notably when he was on the wrong side of developments in QM, but his remarks were not as you describe them. Bad roll of the dice for you, in thinking that you could get away with such an outright lie.
Proof or STFU. If you want to convinced people jesus is the creator of the universe you would first have to prove jesus. actually existed.
Can someone tell me what god was doing before he decided to create the universe? And when he decided to do so, then prior to that instant, he must have changed his mind. This logically leads to the conclusion that by changing his mind, he did not know the future or else he would have known he would change his mind and he would have NOT NOT created the universe in the infinite past. god and the universe would have always existed. This is logically impossible or it would be equally valid to say that the universe created god!
It seems as though you are trying to create a paradox where none exists. You seem to think that if God is real, he must do everything he intends to do all at once, and the universe must exist in its finished form constantly and forever. I am unsure where this supposition comes from. If I plan to go to McDonald's tomorrow but not today, I am not changing my mind – I am planning an event for a certain point/period of time. I do not see why a God who created time cannot choose to do certain things at certain points in time.
Jeremy. The myth concerning Adam's rib wasn't planning, now was it?
Hell is more a product of popular culture than the Bible.
Jesus is more a product of imagination than reality.
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